Chennai, commonly known as Madras, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu, an Indian state.
It is the greatest cultural, commercial, and educational center in South India, located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of India’s major municipal economies. The city is home to more than one-third of India’s car sector. Chennai, the home of the Tamil cinema, is also a significant movie production center.
Since October 2017, Chennai has been on the UNESCO Creative Cities Network list for its century-old musical culture. Chennai is also home to a few choirs, which put on carol concerts in Tamil and English across the city throughout the Christmas season.
The first thing that springs to mind when you hear the words Chennai followed by eateries is south Indian food. While traditional food takes pride of place in Chennai’s culinary scene, the city also offers a broad spectrum of dining experiences ranging from current local to global dishes.
Even though Chennai’s always warm and moist weather is not ideal for dining al fresco, there are a lot of enticing choices for customers to experience delicious meals in the open air. Chennai is home to a variety of great eateries that lure guests in with their amazing environment as well as the outstanding cuisine and drink on offer, from dramatic roofs to lush green parks and coastal locations.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular restaurants in Chennai that you should check out when you’re in town:
Pan Asian restaurant, located in the luxury ITC Grand Chola hotel, is a novelty to Chennai’s culinary scene. The restaurant focuses on Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai. As a result, it is a popular destination for aficionados of Asian cuisine. The restaurant has swiftly become a favorite for Asian fusion cuisine. Diners at Pan Asian are greeted to a five-star dinner in a magnificent, expansive, and airy setting that has been beautifully decorated.
The restaurant is stylish, big, and airy, and it serves a wide range of East Asian meals that are spiced up and created with fresh ingredients and local products. The restaurant is ideal for a luxurious dinner in Chennai and is led by the emerging star of India’s culinary scene, Chef Vikramjit Roy, who has spent years training in the greatest restaurants all around Asia.
Cost for two: 4200 INR
Address: ITC Grand Chola, 63, Anna Salai, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600002
Many believe Madras Pavilion to be Chennai’s greatest buffet restaurant. The restaurant’s menu offers a range of cuisines, including the finest of South and North Indian, Mediterranean, Asian, and worldwide cuisines, with meals ranging from poached eggs and fried bacon to spicy dim sum. The restaurant’s seating is organized into symbolic zones such as Lover Seats, the Throne, the High Table, and the Private Zone. This provides its visitors with a variety of atmospheres and settings for a refined and elegant eating experience.
Perfectly cooked bacon, masala dosa, and braised lamb are available at this eatery. Do not leave without sampling some delicious chocolate desserts, ice cream, and croissants. You may order excellent wine, whiskey, or beer here. It’s fun to experiment with excellent lattes, masala chais, and fresh juices.
Sunday brunches at the Madras Pavilion cost INR 2500 and include unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and a buffet. They provide nasi goreng, a traditional Thai breakfast, as well as bacon and eggs, and a variety of other delectable options.
Cost for two: 4000 INR
Address: ITC Grand Chola Hotel, 63, Anna Salai, Little Mount, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032
Southern Spice, a Taj Group flagship, is recognized for offering traditional Mudaliar and Malabar food. Silver palm-shaped plates, wood-carved pillars, candlelight tables, and flower basins recreate a sleek South Indian palatial setting for some of Chennai’s best South Indian cuisine. Fresh greens, organic ghee, and Pollachi coconuts are among the items sourced locally by the eatery. Every day, the thali menu is changed to reflect the availability of products. Vegetarian, nonvegetarian, seafood, and ‘light’ thalis are all available.
A la carte menu items range from coconut-infused Keralan pachakari stews to spicy Chettinadu curries. Try Chemeen Fry, Vatha Kuzhambu, and Elaneer Payasam while you’re there. The Mangalorean-style Denji Rava Fry (crab) and Thalassery meen biriyani with juicy pieces of seer fish are also popular at the restaurant. Needless to say, the dinner will wow your taste with new flavors and leave you craving more.
Cost for two: 3000 INR
Address: Uthamar Gandhi Rd, Anna Salai, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600034
Chennai, India’s ‘Entrance to the Southern,’ lies at the intersection of southern India’s major culinary traditions, from the flavors of Kerala to the hot, spicy dishes characteristic of Chettinad cuisine, which is often regarded as the most fragrant and flavorful, filled with spices. Dakshin at the Park Sheraton in Chennai is the ideal choice for customers looking for uncomplicated, genuine south Indian cuisine with traces of Chettinad influence.
Guests can select from the menu or the traditional thali. Rasam, dosas, chutneys, spiced Andhra-styled chicken, and other southern foods are included. The vintage ambiance, which includes Tanjore paintings and live contemporary Carnatic Indian music, complements the traditional south Indian food.
Cost for two: 2500 INR
Address: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, 132, TTK Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018
Annalakshmi in Chennai is one of the greatest locations to satiate your craving for tasty Tamil Nadu vegetarian food at an inexpensive price, bringing vegetarian eating into a communal diversity. In a magnificent dining room adorned with carvings and paintings, within a high-rise behind the Air India building, you’ll find really good South and North Indian vegetarian cuisine, as well as glorious fresh juices. Buffet lunches and dinners are offered in a different section of the same building.
Annalakshmi is so famous that it has branches in 4 nations: India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. The vegetarian thali is a frequently adopted choice, with rich and diverse meals culminating with payasam and ice cream; Annalakshmi Chennai also has a diverse à la carte menu. Booking ahead of time is strongly advised for this popular eating establishment.
Cost for two: 2000 INR
Address: No 6 Mayor Ramanathan Salai, Spur Tank Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600031
KAPPA CHAKKA KANDHARI
Kappa Chakka Kandhari, named after the three primary components peculiar to Kerala cuisine—tapioca, jackfruit, and bird’s eye chili (Kandhari), is one of the city’s most popular eateries. Kappa Chakka Kandhari, which spans two levels, serves traditional Kerala cuisine to a new generation. The food at Kappa Chakka Kandhari exemplifies Kerala’s incredible culinary diversity.
Malabar food from the north, Kallu Shaap cuisine from Kerala’s toddy stores, Syrian Christian cuisine, and Travancore cuisine. The Ramassery Idli, Kerala’s response to idli, is cooked over a muslin-covered clay pot and served with either Kerala-style sambar or chicken curry. The Kappa biryani (with tapioca and meat) is a must-order.
Cost for two: 1400 INR
Address: 10, Haddows Rd, opp. Shastri Bhavan, Thousand Lights West, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006
Tuscana Pizzeria, one of Chennai’s few authentic wood-fired pizzerias, specializes in traditional Mediterranean food. For dessert, there are mouthwatering thin-crust pizzas, scrumptious pasta, delectable bruschetta, and cool panna cotta.
The restaurant encompasses all the major specialties of classic Mediterranean cuisine, from creamy risottos to fresh salads, from freshly baked focaccia to sweet tiramisu, complemented by powerful espresso or milky cappuccino.
Nonetheless, it provides unexpected flexibility: visitors may select from 4 distinct pizza bases, including gluten-free, whole wheat, multi-grain, and standard refined wheat. The pizza also has egg-free and gluten-free options. There is a home delivery option for people who do not like to dine out.
Cost for two: 1400 INR
Address: 19, Wallace Garden 3rd Street, Thousand Lights West, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600006
Enté Keralam is well-known for exhibiting the best of Kerala’s diverse culinary history. It is evident in the foods they offer, which are based on mother’s recipes passed down through the generations, as well as the atmosphere.
It is praised for its décor, which is primarily white and brown, exactly like the state’s residences, and ornamental features such as a traditional wooden boat and elephant trinkets. From Thalassery’s famous Biryani to Appams and Meen Moilee (seer fish cooked with coconut milk and ginger), the delicacies will fill both your heart and tummy.
Cost for two: 750 INR
Address: No. 1 First Street, Kasturi Estate, Poes Garden, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018
HOTEL SARAVANA BHAVAN
Hotel Saravana Bhavan, one of the world’s biggest vegetarian restaurant chains, was founded in 1981 and specializes in South Indian vegetarian dishes. With almost 20 outlets in Chennai alone, the restaurant has branches all across India, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Middle East.
For breakfast, the restaurant serves idli, a savory cake made of lentils and rice, and vada, a fritter-type snack made of lentils, gram flour, or potatoes, as well as classic thalis or biryani and pilaus for lunch and supper. For dessert, there are ice cream cones and filter coffee.
Cost for two: 500 INR
Address: 21, Kennet Ln, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600008
MURUGAN IDLI SHOP
When you’re in Chennai, you must check Murugan Idli Shop for the fluffiest idlis in town. It is one of the city’s oldest restaurants, popular with both locals and visitors for nearly two decades. If you go, try their specialty drink, Jigarthanda, which is a combination of milk, ice cream, and sabudana. This treat, served with four chutneys, is sure to get your day off to a good start.
Murugan Idli Shop is especially well-known for its breakfast menu, which draws a large number of workers in the early hours. Murugan Idli Shop is well-known for its idli, which comes with milagai podi (chili powder), chutney, and sambar, as well as its dosa. This is without a doubt one of the greatest vegetarian restaurants in Chennai that you will come upon.
Cost for two: 500 INR
Address: 46, 13, N Usman Rd, Parthasarathi Puram, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017
Edited by Anupama Roy